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Amazon.com's Slight Sales Gain, Cost Controls Narrow Third-Quarter Loss

23 Oct, 2001 By: Hive News

Leading Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. said on Wednesday that increased sales had narrowed its third-quarter loss to $169.9 million, or 46 cents a share, from $240.5 million, or 68 cents, a year ago, the company said in a press statement. Cost-cutting at the No. 1 Internet retailer's warehouses also contributed to narrowing the loss gap.

Sales edged up .2% to $639.3 million from $637.9 million in the same year-ago period, missing analysts forecasts (which averaged $650.3 million) and will almost certainly fall short in this atypical fourth quarter.

Greater efficiency was also a factor in narrowing the third-quarter loss as Amazon.com is filling more orders faster and with fewer errors at the warehouse level.

Following the downward trail of the economy, domestic revenue from books, music and video -- Amazon's biggest and oldest lines of business -- dropped 12% to $351.4 million. In addition to the economy and slowing sales, the company also blamed the sales slump the week of Sept. 11, as well as the site's own promotion of used books and music, for feeding losses in those cornerstone categories.

Third-quarter sales were within range of Amazon's July forecast. Fourth-quarter sales will be in the $970 million to $1.07 billion range, the company said, which represents unchanged to up 10% from a year ago. Analysts' average fourth-quarter sales estimate for was $1.10 billion.

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